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Wednesday, August 22, 2001

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MacPlay to Publish Aliens vs Predator
10:46 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As with our announcement that DS9: The Fallen had shipped, the following information seems almost surreal -- a story which we anticipating writing over a year ago, and yet is now finally being committed to publication. Aliens vs Predator has been a lost and wondering soul in the Mac gaming pantheon, orphaned by the collapse of Logicware and 20th Century Fox's publication department and delayed by seemingly insurmountable technical issues. It is only fitting that the resurrected MacPlay in turn revitalizes this game which so many Mac gamers have declared "dead," and brings it not only to Mac OS 9 but to OS X as well.

MacPlay's new PR person Andrew Hoolan just fired off this missive:

MacPlay, answering the rising demand in
Mac gaming, has recently acquired Aliens versus Predator Gold Edition, one
of the most frequently requested titles for the platform. The product is
scheduled to be available September 21, 2001 on the Mac OS X and Mac OS 9

Based on the popular and terrifying Fox film sagas, Aliens and Predator,
Aliens versus Predator Gold Edition pits three of the deadliest species
against each other in a bloodthirsty battle for the ultimate prize of
survival. Players take their stand as a Colonial Marine, a Predator, or an
Alien as they stalk their way through some of the most chillingly detailed
futuristic environments ever seen on a Mac. The game includes the Millennium
Expansion Pack, an enhanced version of the original game that contains new
levels and weapons.

The highly acclaimed game garnered ratings of 9 out of 10 from Happy Puppy
and Sharky Extreme, as well as 4 out of 5 from Thresh's Firing Squad and
Computer Games Online. The game even prompted to say "Do not
play this game at night... unless you wanna have nightmares."

"We listened to the Macintosh gaming community when we pursued the rights to
Aliens versus Predator," said Mark Cottam, President of MacPlay. "We're
excited to partner with Fox Interactive to bring the best in computer gaming
to the Macintosh and are fully committed to our loyal customer base."

MacPlay is also offering visitors to their website an opportunity to take advantage of MacPlay's
worldwide preorder special. The offer allows customers within the U.S. who
preorder Aliens versus Predator Gold Edition, at the introductory price of
$24.99, to receive free shipping and handling, while a minimal charge of $15
will be applied to all international customers.

Aliens versus Predator Gold Edition


  • 3 different species: Each with different strengths, weapons,
    physical abilities and objectives
  • Over 40 different levels in environments including Spaceships, Alien
    Temples and Underground Caverns
  • Deformable Environments
  • 10 Multiplayer Modes
  • Particle and Dynamic Systems
  • Hyper Advanced Artificial Intelligence
  • Total freedom of movement
  • Dynamic lighting
The path from Logicware to MacPlay is actually quite direct and logical; former Logicware founder Bill "Burger" Heineman was behind the original port of AvP; he now works for both United Developers and Mumbo Jumbo, whose products are published under the MacPlay label.

We've inquired as to whether there will be a demo for this title. We have linked to our preview of AvP, but it was posted so long ago that it is in the "old" static HTML content system, and is full of broken links. In any case detailed information and screen shots should be available on the MacPlay site in the future.

Preview: Aliens Vs. Predator
Long-running Thread on the AvP Publishing Controversy
Aliens vs Predator Web Site
Fox Interactive
Aliens vs. Predator: Gold

Bill Roper of Blizzard on 'The Mac Show'
3:40 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The Mac Show is a Mac-themed "radio show" broadcast over the Internet and accompanied by simultaneous chats hosted by World Without Borders. Tonight, among other guests, former MacGaming editor (and now MacCentral editor) Peter Cohen will be interviewing Bill Roper of Blizzard Software.

Recently Roper has been interviewed repeatedly by the gaming press concerning Warcraft III, so it seems logical to conclude that this will be the subject of the interview tonight. All you need to listen to the show is QuickTime and a decent (56k and above) Internet connection; the broadcast begins at 9 PM Eastern tonight. If you miss it the show will be archived for downloading in the future.

The Mac Show

WWII Online Q&A
3:00 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacGamer has conducted an informative Q&A with Rodney Hodge of Playnet, the publishers and hosts of the massively-multiplayer online warfare sim World War II Online. While the team is still striving for a late-August release for the Mac, the rocky start of this title on the PC side raises some legitimate questions. MacGamer's Q&A delves into such topics as who is playing the game, why they decided to make a Mac version and the future of the title.

Here's an excerpt:

Why make a WWII game rather than, say, a fantasy/Tokien-style or futuristic kind of game, given the crazy success games like that seem to have?

I guess there are a couple of reasons for that. The first is that even though we enjoy all types of games here as a whole, we came from a simulations background. While playing those, we have always thought, "wouldn't it be cool if you could do this", or "wouldn't that just rock" in reference to bringing all of the simulation genres together in one game. The virtual battlefield is the holy grail of simming. We put a lot of time and planning into adding RPG and strategy elements into the mix to tie it all together and came up with WWII Online.

Second, is that the market is about flooded with MMRPG's... Why do one of those and just be one of the many. We instead, have been creating new tools and technologies with a separate genre with WWII Online and then can apply those new proprietary technologies to a more competitive RPG game in the future, but I wouldn't expect to see an example of this unless we think we can do something substantially better.

For more on this ambitious title, read the rest of the interview.

World War II Online Q&A at MacGamer

Airburst Postmortem Posted
12:40 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

iDevGames has posted a "postmortem" on their site concerning the excellent Strange Flavour title, Airburst. This much-updated take on the classic Warlords is receiving very good comments from the Mac community, and author Aaron Fothergill goes into detail on how he went about programming the title. The article covers his design philosophy, how he works closely with his brother Adam (who created the graphics and sound), and the things that went right and wrong in the process. It's amazing to think the high-quality game was finished in just three months, but Fothergill attributes that to their pre-planning:

Fortunately, the careful planning at the start of the project paid off and we were able to concentrate on the game itself rather than solving basic design and code problems. The game was released on the same day as Steve Jobs' keynote at MacWorld New York (to catch the large number of web viewers anxiously scanning websites for news), although because of the slippage we were not able to get all of the extra bits and pieces (player skins, extra backgrounds, desktop pics etc.) onto the website for the launch. So far, user and press reviews have been very good and registration is going to plan.
Be sure to head over and have a read through the postmortem, as it gives a well-organized look at how games like this are put together. Also be sure to download the demo of Airburst from Macgamefiles if you haven't yet done so.

Download Airbust Demo (6.1MB)
Airbust Web Site
Airbust Postmortem at iDevGames

IMG Reviews Monkey Shines 2
12:31 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In an effort to expand our review base far beyond just commercial releases, IMG has published a review of Monkey Shines 2, a title released by indie publisher Fantasoft. This 2D side scroller mixes the familiar elements of that style of play with surreal and interesting additions. Here is an excerpt:

In my heart of hearts, I've always wanted to be a heroic, time-traveling, banana-tossing monkey with a rocket pack. Monkey Shines 2: Gorilla Warfare from Fantasoft has made this dream finally come true. I can die a happy man.

Monkey Shines 2: Gorilla Warfare is the latest 2-D side-scrolling action game from Fantasoft. As a gorilla named Darwin, the player's goal is to rescue the ape populace of Symian City from enslavement at the hands of evil robots. In order to reach Symian City, players must retrieve pieces of a map scattered across various historical periods. Each world contains 12 map pieces, which, when gathered, will activate Darwin's time machine, transporting him to the next level and closer to Symian City itself.

Read the rest of the review for more details, and be sure to grab the demo and give the game a try on your own.

Review: Monkey Shines 2: Gorilla Warfare

MacMAME .53a Fixes Bugs, Updates OpenGL
12:22 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

After months of no development at all, MacMAME has reached another minor milestone -- version .53a has been released. Brad Oliver has patched some bugs that cropped up in the .53 release, and an updated version of the OpenGL plugin has been included that works with both OS 9 and OS X. Here are the details:

0.53a - 17 August 2001

• Re-enabled PPC 68k cores. This fixes miscellaneous funk with a number of
games, e.g. Gauntet. [Brad Oliver]

• Fixed some issues with incorrect text in the ROM audits. [Brad Oliver]

• MacMAME now exits with a warning message on systems less than 8.6, rather
than crashing. [Brad Oliver]

Also, Kent Miller has updated his OpenGL plugin for MacMAME. It now works
under MacOS X as well as MacOS 9!

Both are available from the MacMAME web site. If you don't know what MacMAME is, that would also be a good place to find out.

Download MacMAME 0.53a

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Terminal Reality Drops Mac, PC Support?
11:59 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Fastest Game News Online has produced a characteristically brief report on Terminal Reality, developer of games such as 4x4 Evolution and Fly! II. They were also a part of Gathering of Developers, a publishing house which recently folded and handed over its remaining assets to parent company Take Two Interactive.

It seems the fallout over the demise of GodGames continues, as now Terminal Reality is shifting their focus solely on high-end console platforms such as the upcoming Xbox and PlayStation 2.

The company is currently working on 4x4 Evolution 2; however only the Xbox version of the game is mentioned. At the time the sequel was announced last year, both Mac and PC versions were planned (though the Mac version later seemed to be in doubt according to some forum posts.)

We'll contact the company and see if there is any chance of Mac or PC ports of their future titles, but it seems yet another developer has been forced by the financial constraints of the marketplace to narrow their target audience. MacSoft still plans to publish a Mac port of Fly! II sometime in the near future.

Report on Terminal Reality at FGN
Terminal Reality
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

English League Manager Released
11:37 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

TigaByte Software has released English League Manager, a football (known as soccer in uncivilized countries) management sim which combines three games in one. Players can manage, coach and even edit their team and club stats. With 4,000 players and 142 clubs to choose from, any fan of "footie" will be able to put together their dream team.

Here is the announcement:

I am pleased to announce the release of English League Manager. ELM is a shareware soccer management game solely for the Macintosh.

Unlike Championship Manager, ELM is intended to run on a wide range of
Macs, ranging from 68k and PPC Macs and upwards. It also has interactive
realtime match play so that budding managers can actually feel that they
are controlling their team.

You can grab a demo of the game from the TigaByte web site.

English League Manager

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Post-Release Myst III Interview
10:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Games website WorthPlaying has posted a recent interview with Presto Studios, developers of the stunning graphical adventure Myst III: Exile. The interview itself is quite lengthy and asks questions about topics such as the length of the development cycle for the sequel, the effects used during FMV cut scenes, what it was like working with live actors and the like.

Here's a sample from the interview itself:

[WorthPlaying] - Myst is a very respected and successful series. What are the reasons of this success?

[Presto] - Speaking as someone in the industry, but not the creator of MYST, I don’t presume to know exactly why MYST is such a phenomenon. But I can identify certain strengths in the product that, when combined with the state of the industry in 1993, promoted mass popularity. First and foremost are the beautiful, safe, surreal worlds. People love to see new places, especially ones that are eerily familiar. MYST took the player to these locals, and let them explore at their own leisure, certainly a departure from most games.

Other topics include why the game was done in 640X480, how the story has evolved, and what the future may hold for similar games. For the full interview, be sure to check it out at WorthPlaying.

WorthPlaying - Presto Studios Interview
Presto Studios
Myst III: Exile
Buy Myst III: Exile

Warcraft III Loses Four Heroes
9:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IMG readers who have been following our recent stories concerning Blizzard's upcoming RTS Warcraft III may remember that we originally reported that each race would have four heroes from which to choose from. Geoff Fraizer, webmaster for Blizzard's site, has recently posted a message in the forums at WarcraftIII.Net that announces a change to that number, bringing it down to three heroes per race.

The removed heroes are as follows:

  • The Alliance - Elven Ranger
  • The Horde - The Shadow Hunter
  • The Night Elves - ArchDruid

The removed hero for The Undead has yet to be revealed.

Fraizer goes on to plead with readers not to inundate Blizzard's mailbox with cries of outrage, petitions, or other such messages begging for the return of these heroes. He notes that, above all, the designers of the characters themselves were the most disappointed about letting them go. He also notes that, believe it or not, the game is only getting better due to these changes, along with others that may or may not be announced.

For the rest of his post, as well as followups by gamers waiting in the wings for Warcraft III's release, be sure to check it out at WarcraftIII.Net's forums.

WarcraftIII.Net Forum - Hero Update
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

Red Faction Image Gallery
9:43 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Some might start the day with donuts or those nasty cheese danishes, but we highly recommend a dose of good old eye candy to start off your day. Thus VoodooExtreme's screen shot gallery of Red Faction in action -- powered by GeForce 3 -- is a tasty and satisfying snack. With 17 high-rez images of the game in action, this gallery provides a good overview of this next-generation shooter.

Shown are many typical scenes of running around the complex and detailed levels of tha game; note the gorgeous colored lighting and high-resolution textures, improved from the PS2 version. The subject matter ranges from the usual hallways and caverns to in-engine cut scenes and shots from the POV of driving two of the vehicles in the game -- a submarine and a Descent-style assault craft. There's even a little weapons fire for those of you that like the scent of gunpowder with your oatmeal.

This game is currently in Alpha status for the Mac OS; considering Volition's extensive experience with the Mac OS gained while porting their other title Summoner, we expect the Mac version to be released close behind the PC version.

Red Faction Screen Shot Gallery at VExtreme

Click to enlarge Server Status and Barbarian Bugs
9:37 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Blizzard's multiplayer service has recently posted some updates regarding both server status and a bug causing problems for Level 1 Barbarians. These updates follow the recently available Diablo II 1.09 patch, though it is not specified whether or not this new patch is the source of the problems.

Here's their official statement regarding server status:

Asia1 and USWest realms are still down while we investigate what is causing characters to revert to level 1 status, losing all items, experience, skills, and stat points. (Note that this is unrelated to the issue where Barbarians that were always Level 1 fail to load correctly).

We will update again tomorrow when we have more information regarding Asia1 and USWest.

The Barbarian Bug, as noted above, is causing Level 1 Barbarians to fail to load. promises to have a server-side update as soon as possible. For players worried about their characters, promises that any characteres that failed to load wil not need to be rolled back, as the character data is still intact.

More news and information on can be found at their main website. Official Site
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

MOO3 Devs Discuss UI
9:19 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The tenth developer diary for Master of Orion 3 has been posted at GameSpy, discussing the game's complex user interface (UI). In this installment, they cover basic topics such as the use of color to define elements, UI textures and laying out the various screens. Because the title is quite involved in depth and strategy, there are over 100 different screens for the user interface, making the design of these screens a very important element of the game. Here's a small clip from the article:

My response to those who have only seen screen shots of the UI and say 'well it's kinda plain-looking' is that motion is everything in the game.

One of the first ideas for MOO3 when we started kicking this around two years ago was the idea that it would be a highly kinetic game with movement that reinforced actions and information. For instance, a crucial idea was that you would be able to zoom from the galaxy view, to the sector level, to the system level, to the planet level fluidly, without there ever being a "cut, goto screen" state. The idea being that it, like the sprues and color modes, reinforces the sense of connectivity and context, hence making it easier and more enjoyable to play.

Master of Orion 3 is currently set to ship out early next year for both Mac and PC. MacSoft will be publishing the title, which is currently in development for both platforms by Quicksilver Studios.

MOO3 Developer Diary #10
Master of Orion 3 Web Site
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

New Mac Hitchhiker Update, Site
9:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Today IMG received new details about the 3D adventure game based upon the late Douglas Adams' book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Sara Hedin at Pan Interactive notes the game is on track for completion next spring, and they hope to support both OS 9 and OS X. As we've mentioned in previous reports on the game, Hitchhiker should also be a simultaneous release for both Mac and Windows. Here's the full scoop from Hedin:

Some short news about The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
The game is planed to be released around Easter 2002, closer date is not yet set. If everything goes as planed we will have a Mac version supporting OS 9 and OS X.
She also mentions a new web site for the UK developers of the game, Phase 3 Studios, which contains new information and screen shots. Here's a new description of the game accompanying the shots:
Assisted by the unlikely crew of the Heart of Gold - Ford Prefect, Trillian, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Marvin the Paranoid Android - Arthur's quest takes him from the most squalid surroundings of a Vogon Constructor Fleet spaceship to the extensive swamplands of Squornshellous Zeta, to the planet-construction yards of the legendary Magrathea, and the fabled Argabuthon Halls of Justice, with perhaps just enough time to see some sights and crash a party or two along the way.
While the new images contain mostly environmental shots, there are a few new angles on Arthur and some of the characters he'll run into. A link to our past stories on this game is also provided.

Past IMG Stories on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Phase 3 Studios Web Site
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 3D

Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Update on Mac V12 Engine1:39 PM
Diablo II/LoD 1.09 Patches Available for Download12:43 PM
Mac Red Faction Status Update12:03 PM
IMG Reviews Alice11:23 AM
Warcraft III's Bill Roper Interviewed10:30 AM
Elite Force Expansion, OS X Release Soon10:24 AM
Aspyr Project Status Updates10:08 AM
HomeLan Previews Red Faction Beta10:05 AM
Arcane Arena Enters Public Beta9:44 AM
Apple Relives WWII - On the Mac9:36 AM
Radeon 8500 Demos9:20 AM
This Weeks Custer's Desktop7:03 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 21, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Monday, August 20, 2001
Friday, August 17, 2001
Thursday, August 16, 2001
Wednesday, August 15, 2001
Tuesday, August 14, 2001

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